Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Soul Insurance (Part 12 The Die is Cast)

Global narrative collapse... Part 12 of Soul Insurance (see previously)

XII. The Die is Cast

The hymn of the big wheel played as the review board gathered south of the river
Asase Yaa, finally fed up, had appealed to the ombudsman to take up the matter
For even the claims adjuster had limits to his authority: enter the Regulators.
A decision was made to allow in-flight enforcement actions to proceed, but no further

Still, the claims adjuster, practiced at these things,
   made a typically forceful presentation
He bypassed the import of Ananse the Spider and Sika's ploy of the indemnity provision
Leaving the three tribes bereft, they could only offer up suffering as their submission
Thus the regulatory review proceeded
   with its own cadence and inexorable deliberation

The claim was upheld on the narrowest of grounds,
   the ledger line of inequality
The claims adjuster had argued, with some success,
   about humanity's lack of probity
As Nyame's representative,
   the through line of his position had cut through
A closing ceremony of grief would surely ensue,
   at this point, premiums were due

The costs incurred applied even to the least of us
   as collateral damage
Albeit deliberate intent among many
   reduced the benefits of coverage
For want of a bolt,
   humanity had been forced to confront uncertainty
Such are the catastrophic wages of living without integrity

The die was cast, Dear Reader,
   and humanity was found wanting
The judgment read:
   "Soul insurance does not guarantee you'll avoid liability
It merely protects the bearer
   from the worst effects of life's adversity"
Quoth Ananse the spider,
   "It's a business, and I'm certainly not a charity"

vaccinate for victory


For the past twenty years, the phrase soul insurance has been percolating in my mindscape. I had a different interpretation than Angie Stone's original formulation, and the variations started to show up in my writings. Elliptical, I circled around it as the conception proved elusive. Eventually, while going back to basics, a throwaway sentence unlocked an approach to tackle it, the folktales I've embarked on.

This was the one that got away, 150 stanzas and 8,000 odd words later, the quick ditty that a stray phrase evoked became a recasting of sprawling world. The muse will what she wants and I dared not question her, for, indeed, the two weeks of fevered writing were an escape, a palate cleanser that I hope you've enjoyed. My self-imposed constraints mean that publication is often delayed and, in this case, it is an article of faith to expect that these tales would still resound well twenty months after they were conceived, and without the interactive feedback that they seemed to demand. Yet I adhere to Garcia Marquez's maxim that "Any idea which couldn't withstand a few decades of neglect is not worth anything". I have to trust that delayed gratification will not blunt my words, and that we can abide by the global pause.

As I write, Brazil, and now India, are having their turn as new epicenters of our covidious predicament. I'd rather be wrong, but it rather seems that the die is cast: global narrative collapse, the tale of the lost stories. I'll lay my cards on the table, I can only offer soul insurance as the way forward.

April 27, 2021

claims adjuster

I have just booked a trip to England. My ostensible purpose is to get a stamp in my passport that will keep my notional residency in Her Majesty's lands legitimate. I am hedging my bets against this American episode; the stamp is my soul insurance if you will. Refugees all, we in Africa are no strangers to dislocation, in many ways it is our close friend. As the song goes, wherever I lay my hat, that's my home.

Bags and Stamps
One cannot but stare at the trainwreck when it comes. But how does one equip oneself to face the abyss? Where does one buy soul insurance? In a dark time, perhaps social living is the best.

Of No Fixed Abode
Wist presents an opportunity for resolve, it is a brief respite in that moment as you gather yourself up for the next task, the next struggle. Wist is a flight to quality, a premium bond for these subprime times. Wist is soul insurance that actually pays you back when you file your later claims.

We can afford the taxes due on dividends in kind
For love is the defined benefit of soul insurance

Structural Adjustments
Nyame's claims adjuster resolves the matter with soul insurance

Nuts and Bolts

The Die is Cast, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. (spotify version)

Soul Insurance (Index)

A covidious folktale
  1. Ananse and the Chief's Scribe
  2. Enter the Claims Adjuster
  3. An Audience with the Linguist
  4. Pity the Mink
  5. Short Sale
  6. Excessive Liabilities
  7. Premiums Due
  8. Soul Insurance, a playlist
  9. Indemnity Provisions
  10. Full Circle
  11. Enforcement Actions
  12. The Die is Cast

This cautionary tale is part of a series: In a covidious time.

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Writing log: Parts 1-8 March 21 - 28, 2021; Parts 9-12 April 7-10, 2021

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